RED BANK: NEW STINK OVER BELLHAVEN COSTS

A 2012 image outlines the extent of wetlands at Bellhaven Natural Area at the western terminus of Locust Avenue. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

Two years after abandoning a controversial “sprayground” proposed for the Bellhaven Natural Area, the Red Bank borough council is moving ahead with plans for a playground at the site.

At its semimonthly meeting Wednesday night, the council approved nearly $20,000 in additional engineering costs for the site, a move that prompted fresh objections.

“This is deja vu all over again,” said Bill Meyer, owner of a downtown commercial building. The borough has already spent $73,000  engineering fees on the site, and “that money was burned and wasted,” he said. Read More »

LITTLE SILVER: BOROUGH EYES AVAILABLE LOT

The property, marked with a star, would provide direct public access to Challenger Field. (Image by Google Maps. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

Little Silver officials hope to solve a longstanding problem of access to ballfields with the purchase of a vacant property, under action initiated by the borough council.

But it’s far from a done deal, hinging on financial help from Monmouth County and the property still being available when the town’s ready to make an offer.

Read More »

RED BANK: NO BODY CAMERAS, FOR NOW

rbpd 041416Body cameras are being tested by RBPD’s traffic unit, but Chief Darren McConnell said he’s holding off on adopting general usage. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

AUTHORITIES_RB-2016-v3Eight months after his department won a grant to purchase body cameras, Red Bank police Chief Darren McConnell says he’s holding off, waiting for improvements in the technology.

Routine use of the cameras is inevitable, McConnell tells redbankgreen. But he’s not a strong believer that they’re necessary, and at present, they’re beyond his budget, even with the free money.

Read More »

RED BANK: POLICE TO GET BODY CAMERAS

rbpd 110915Borough police will get 20 body cameras under a grant. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

AUTHORITIES_RB3Red Bank police will soon begin wearing body cameras on the streets, under a grant announced Monday by Acting New Jersey Attorney General John Hoffman.

Aimed at increasing transparency in policing, the program will provide 176 towns statewide with $2.5 million to buy 5,000 cameras and ancillary equipment, Hoffman.

Red Bank is slated to get almost $9,000 under the program, enough to buy 20 cameras, according to a list published by nj.com. Read More »

RED BANK: BELLHAVEN SPLASH PAD SPUTTERS

bellhaven 110915An entrance to Bellhaven Natural Area on Locust Avenue. A proposed playground would be sited within the of loop the path shown above. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

HOT-TOPIC_03A controversial plan for a spray park in Red Bank’s Bellhaven Natural Area has all but officially sputtered out.

The borough-owned riverfront lot at the western end of Locust Avenue is still envisioned as the site of a much-needed West Side playground, according to Councilwoman Linda Schwabenbauer, the governing body’s liaison to the parks and recreation department.

But a spray park or a splash pad that shoots jets of water skyward? That’s done, she tells redbankgreen.

Read More »

RED BANK: COUNCIL WRAP-UP

rbcs 061015Seventh-graders from the Red Bank Charter School presented a report on “serving a healthy town,” and Mayor Pasquale Menna, below, returned to the dais after heart surgery. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

pasquale menna 061015Here’s some of what went on at the semimonthly meeting of the Red Bank council Wednesday night:

• Mayor Pasqule Menna presided over his first meeting following a month away following open-heart surgery. He thanked Council President Art Murphy for filling in for him at various events, and for “chauffering me around – ‘Driving Mr. Daisy,’ I suppose,” he said.

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LITTLE SILVER PIVOTS ON $1.5M TURF PLAN

ls sickles park 080414 4The ballfields at Sickles Farm Park will remain grass for now. Below, audience members passed around a turf sample.  (Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

ls turf 080414Little Silver isn’t ready for artificial turf at Sickles Farm Park, the borough council informally agreed Monday night.

After hearing comments from residents divided over the initiative, the council decided not to pursue a $250,000 Monmouth County Open Spaces grant toward an estimated $1.5 million project cost. Not this year, at least.

“I don’t see the benefit of going to the county with half the community opposed,” said Councilman Donald Galante.

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LITTLE SILVER MULLS ARTIFICIAL TURF

HOT-TOPIC_03Coming up at Monday night’s meeting of the Little Silver borough council: a presentation on the possibility of installing artificial turf at Sickles Field.

The recreation committee is slated to outline the pros and cons of pursing an Open Spaces grant from Monmouth County to cover some of the costs of a such a project, recreation Director Doug Glassmacher tells redbankgreen.

Read More »

LITTLE SILVER: FUNDING ARM FOR HOMESTEAD

parker-homestead-2007A nonprofit organization will serve as the fundraising arm for the historic site, which dates back almost 350 years. (Click to enlarge)

By ALEXIS ORLACCHIO

A charitable corporation has been formed to help carry out plans to run Little Silver’s historic Parker Homestead as an educational facility, according to borough officials.

The plan is for a foundation to raise funds to carry out the Parker Homestead mission, said Councilman Dan O’Hern.

Read More »

FAIR HAVEN: PARK MAY GET WALKING TRAIL

Sickles School students often return from recess in the park covered in dust, teachers have complained. (Photo by Joe Fisher. Click to enlarge)

By JOE FISHER

Fair Haven is working on a $180,000 plan for McCarter Park upgrades that could include a walking trail, a relocated and improved ball field and more parking.

At Monday night’s bimonthly council meeting, borough Engineer Richard Gardella said the park “lacks an identity’’ and suggested that a walking trail like the one at Fair Haven Field would help “create some type of circulation’’ through the five-acre facility.

The walking trail could be equipped with benches and simple fitness stations along the route, Gardella said.

Read More »

RED BANK: BIKE-HOOP DREAMS

Some of Red Bank’s newly decommissioned parking meters (right) could be retrofitted as lock stands for bicycles. Borough Engineer Christine Ballard tells redbankgreen that officials are awaiting word on a grant that would pay for galvanized iron loop sleeves that slide on to former parking meter posts that have had their heads removed.

Meantime, biking-and-walking advocacy group Red Bank Safe Routes is collecting suggestions from residents on where they’d like to see more bike racks in town. Feel free to add your thoughts in a comment below. (Photo above courtesy NYC DOT. Click to enlarge)